News Bureau | University of Illinois

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign logo


2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008
Email to a friend envelope icon for send to a friend

Two professors given campus's highest honor

Melissa Mitchell, Arts Editor
(217) 333-5491;


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Two University of Illinois professors have been recommended by Chancellor Michael Aiken for appointment as professors in the Center for Advanced Study – the highest form of recognition the campus bestows on faculty members for outstanding scholarship.

The new CAS professors are Benita S. Katzenellenbogen, molecular and integrative biology, and College of Medicine; and Richard S. Powers, English.  The permanent appointments, effective Aug. 21, were approved by the UI Board of Trustees during its April 13 meeting in Chicago.

CAS professors continue to serve as full members of their home departments while participating in a variety of formal and informal activities organized by the center.

Katzenellenbogen, who also was appointed to a Swanlund Chair in February, is known for her scholarly work that addresses fundamental issues in cell biology concerning how hormones and other chemical signaling agents regulate cell function.  Specifically, she is investigating the structure and function of steroid hormone receptors and their involvement in the regulation of gene expression and the growth of normal and cancerous tissues.

Katzenellenbogen received a bachelor’s degree from the City University of New York, and earned master’s and doctoral degrees from Harvard University.  Since joining the UI faculty in 1971, her research has been published in more than 170 journal articles, and she has been the recipient of numerous awards, honors and fellowships.  Among them, she has received the MERIT Award from the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health, and the Jill Rose Award for outstanding research from the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

A fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Katzenellenbogen recently was elected president of the Endocrine Society, the world’s largest professional society for endocrinologists.

Powers, a recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Foundation “genius” fellowship in 1989, is widely considered to be among the most innovative and important American writers.  To date, he has written six novels, with another to be published later this year.

Powers earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English at the UI, in 1978 and 1980, respectively, and was named to the UI’s first Swanlund Chair in 1996.  A fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he was recognized last year by Esquire magazine as one of the 21 most important thinkers for the 21st century.

The appointment of Katzenellenbogen and Powers brings the total number of CAS professors to 19.